So what does a perfect weekend look like?

The short answer is Jack Johnson, turquoise water, surf, sand, laughter, and bonding with one of my favorite people in the world!  But the long answer is so much more fun!

Last month Dylan, my 15 year old, and I had the chance to head over to Oahu for 2 days.  We scored Jack Johnson tickets a few months before and although it was a strain financially we just could not pass it up.  So the day before the concert we bought flights, at a whopping $500 round trip just to jump islands, and booked a hotel.  We were planning to stay just the 1 night for the show but because of weekend involvement and the crazy price of tickets it was cheaper to stay 1 more night...OK by us!

Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, largest mountains in the world!
We left as early as we could muster and landed in Oahu, where we lived for 6 months last year, thrilled to start our little mini vacation.  We usually try and spend as little as we can on holidays but sometimes a little splurge can be fun too.  We ended up deciding to skip renting a car since Waikiki is such a walkable city but we still needed to get from the airport in Honolulu to the strip in Waikiki which on a good day, with no traffic, takes about 40 minutes by car and nearly 2 hours by bus.  If you've ever driven in Honolulu/Waikiki you know there are very few good days traffic wise.

After deciding that our time was more valuable than anything we decided to book a car with Blacklane.  It is a booking site that partners with carefully selected and trained chauffeurs. The driver was ready to pick us up at the airport and stayed in good contact with us the whole time. It was the first time I used a service like that and although a bus trip would have saved a good amount of money I have to admit it was really nice to be so comfortable.

Once we got to Waikiki the trip really began,  the beautiful water sat right in front of us as we approached our hotel and we were both transported back a year thinking of all the fun adventures we shared in Oahu.  We were early and hungry so since we had to wait to check in, off we went to walk the beach and find a good spot for brunch.  Eggs n things was a spot we never got to while living there so we figured to hell with the cost, lets enjoy it.  The food is overpriced and although it is yummy, I've had better pancakes in Kailua.  But it wasn't really about the food, the view of Duke's beach was enough for us to call it a great meal.

Upon returning to our hotel we saw that it was still too early so we figured we would hit the pool.  We stayed in 2 different hotels and the second nights place had no pool so I knew we needed to enjoy it while we could.  It was pretty hot so I raced in to get changed not even noticing the view:

Can you believe that?  Ocean to one side and Diamond head crater in front, what a glorious swim we had acting silly and enjoying the view.  After that we finally got into our room where we just rested a bit waiting for the concert to start.

To say we were excited is a serious understatement!  Dylan has been listening to my husband and I play Jack Johnson's music since he was about 6. We love him and even spent a month on a trip around the US pretty much relaxing to Jack Johnson the entire time, in between playing kid DVDs in the van that is.  Now that Dylan has started to play guitar the love of his music has grown even more.  I can't remember the last time we felt so giddy (and that is saying a lot) as we did walking over to the concert venue.

The show was right in Waikiki at the shell, an outdoor acoustic theater.  I can't even express fully how perfect an evening it was.  The music was relaxed and fun, our seats were close and had an aisle in front so we had loads of leg room and the ability to hop up and dance, the weather was spectacular, warm but not hot and with a light breeze.  The backdrop of the clear blue sky and diamond head crater jut enhanced the evening even more.  We left that evening wanting more but content in what a beautiful evening it was.

The following day we got up early to make the most of the limited time we had.  We both wanted to get in the ocean and snorkel.  Unfortunately the only place close by is Hanauma Bay.  I know a lot of people love it and it is stunning, but the fact that you have to pay, then watch a short video (frustrating as we have watched before and are certified scuba divers so pretty sure we know how to treat the reef)  and then fight the crowds only to have water that looks pristine until you get in and realize it's totally wrecked coral and cloudy water because of it. We had a great time but would have preferred some snorkeling on the North shore instead.

We did take The Bus all the way there and back and it really is a painless system, very easy to navigate and comfortable to ride.  It does fill up fast though on the busy routes.  But we saved a fortune in not renting a car.

After returning from the bay we grabbed our packs and walked over to our second hotel that was located in a more central area in Waikiki.  After taking a  little nap and whining about discussing our sunburns we went out to explore the evening.  Our walk took us through all the shops along the water, into a beautiful art gallery where we spent far too much time discussing the amazing talent of the artist, to the famous Duke's restaurant for dinner, and culminating on the beach where we sat chatting, feeling the cool night breeze, and listening to the ocean waves lap over the beach. Ahh, bliss!

As our final day began we knew the beach and some surfing had to come into play.  I specifically booked a late flight so we could have a little more beach fun before heading back to the Big Island.  It was another beautiful day, I read on the lovely, albeit jam packed, beach, Dylan surfed for 3 hours, we both added another layer to our sunburn...and we loved every minute of it!

A Blacklane car came to pick us up for the long ride back to the airport for our sunset flight back home.  I watched out the window the entire 40 minute flight, silently saying goodbye to Honolulu and peering inside Diamond head crater, watching the sunset over Haleakala on Maui, and observing the last bit of sun fade as we approached the observatories of Mauna Kea on our island home.

It was a perfect weekend spent with my oldest son, enjoying each others company, laughing, and sharing in the beauty of Oahu!  We both I missed the other boys and dad so it was easy to leave and head back home but we will both always have a soft spot for Jack, Oahu, and even Waikiki!  Until next time..

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  1. Mother and son bonding together, sounds like perfect weekend to me. :)